This Jeweler Is Celebrating Women With #SelfLove and an Internship Program


It’s a bold statement right up front on the Cut + Clarity website: “The future of the NYC Diamond District is female.” And it’s one that founder Mariana Russo Chambers believes in fully as she develops a new kind of training program for bench jewelers.

The goal behind The Atelier @ C + C is simple: Chambers says she wants more female bench jewelers, a way to increase domestic manufacturing, and a mission to make sure women have a larger role in New York’s Diamond District or wherever they want to work. The internship program’s ultimate mission is to create a network of women, especially those from underserved communities, who are trained with the tools and skills needed to be jewelers at a fine-jewelry company or for themselves, Chambers says.

This initiative, alongside her #SelfLove campaign, are part of Chambers’ celebration of Women’s History Month, but both programs go beyond just March, she says. The longtime jewelry consultant says she knows this month gets more attention because of International Women’s Day on March 8 and all of Women’s History Month, but her devotion to boosting women’s role within the jewelry industry will remain her north star for years to come.

Mariana Russo Chambers
Mariana Russo Chambers is the founder of Cut + Clarity, a fine-jewelry business that she hopes can bring more women into the jewelry industry through a new internship program.

“We need to focus more of our efforts on creating a talent pipeline,” Chambers says. “There’s a huge demand out there and not enough people ready to meet that demand.”

The Atelier is a pilot program for now, starting with two women, and Chambers says she is looking to add to that along with partner companies. The goal is to give each participant the training they need to learn to become a bench jeweler at a high level so they can work either for a company directly or become an independent contractor and work from home.

The idea behind the Atelier started when Chambers was expecting her first child in 2017, she says. She started thinking through her work as a jewelry consultant and with Cut + Clarity, and that internal conversation had her thinking about the future. She wondered: Was she doing something that mattered and would create a legacy her daughter would be proud to represent?

With training and mentorship, a woman can go from a job that might pay $15 an hour to work as a jeweler making $75–$150 an hour, Chambers says. This kind of training comes a key moment as well, as women dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic, creating a “shesession,” and the fact that women may want to work from home now that they’ve had the opportunity, Chambers says.

Chambers founded Cut + Clarity on the same platform. As an immigrant from Buenos Aires, Chambers says she saw her parents work diligently to improve not only their lives but also those of the people around them. Her goal is to make Cut + Clarity a destination for fine jewelry as well as the catalyst for systemic change within the city’s jewelry industry.

Self Love campaign
Mariana Russo Chambers selected a variety of real people and models to talk about their journey to self-love for a new campaign for her jewelry company, Cut + Clarity.

That also shows up in her marketing, especially her most recent campaign, #SelfLove. Chambers says she wanted to put real, confident people in her advertising that are both expressive about loving themselves and truly comfortable in their own skin. The goal is to continue this campaign through April and into Mother’s Day and beyond.

Within the #SelfLove images and collection, there are not only pictures of people who inspire Chambers, such as model CeCe Olisa, who celebrates her life as a curvy woman, but inspirational messages from each participant. For Olisa, there’s a note that adds, “Self-confidence is built off of recipes, rituals, and routines.”

“It’s about loving yourself, no matter what,” Chambers says. “It’s also about understanding what it is like to be ‘the other,’ or someone who is seen as different. We’re all misfits, so we should come together around our differences. Ultimately, we all have the same human experience.”

Top: Curvy model CeCe Olisa is one of the brand ambassadors of Cut + Clarity’s #SelfLove campaign, which highlights people who are confident in themselves and in the jewelry they wear. Founder Mariana Russo Chambers hopes to improve the jewelry industry from within with this campaign and the women’s jewelry internship she’s begun (photos courtesy of Cut + Clarity). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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